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Hurricanes retain just four starters to play Moana Pasifika

By Ben Smith
Harry Godfrey of the Hurricanes looks on during the round five Super Rugby Pacific match between Hurricanes and Melbourne Rebels at Central Energy Trust Arena, on March 22, 2024, in Palmerston North, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have rung the changes for their next home clash against Moana Pasifika at Sky Stadium this Friday night.

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After falling to the Blues 31-27 at Eden Park, only four players from the starting XV have been retained as Clark Laidlaw looks to utilise his full squad.

The changes see a number of New Zealand U20 graduates get the chance to play, notably prop Siale Lauaki and hooker Raymond Tuputupu who start for the first time for the club.

Fixture
Super Rugby Pacific
Hurricanes
32 - 24
Full-time
Moana Pasifika
All Stats and Data

“Siale and Raymond are two very talented young men, they have had to bide their time, but we feel that they’ve really grown in the environment this season, and both performed well against the Blues,” Laidlaw said.

Brad Shields once again captains the side with Devan Flanders getting a run at No.8 alongside Du’Plessis Kirifi as the loose forward trio.

In the halves Aidan Morgan partners veteran halfback Richard Judd, while Peter Umaga-Jensen gets a run at second five-eighth with Bailyn Sullivan retained at centre.

In his first start of the season at fullback, Harry Godrefy takes over from Ruben Love while Daniel Sinkinson and Kini Naholo are named on the wings.

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The Hurricanes are looking to rebound after losing two of their last three after starting the season 8-0.

They were the first New Zealand side to lose to Moana Pasifika back in 2022 but have since logged three wins in a row over the expansion franchise.

Hurricanes team to face Moana Pasifika:

1. Pouri Rakete-Stones
2. Raymond Tuputupu
3. Siale Lauaki
4. Justin Sangster
5. Ben Grant
6. Brad Shields (C)
7. Du’Plessis Kirifi
8. Devan Flanders
9. Richard Judd
10. Aidan Morgan
11. Kini Naholo
12. Peter Umaga-Jensen
13. Bailyn Sullivan
14. Daniel Sinkinson
15. Harry Godfrey

Reserves

16. James O’Reilly
17. Xavier Numia
18. Pasilio Tosi
19. Isaia Walker-Leawere
20. Peter Lakai
21. Jordi Viljoen
22. Riley Higgins
23. Salesi Rayasi

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Unavailable due to injury: Asafo Aumua, Jacob Devery, Cam Roigard, James Tucker, Caleb Delany, Billy Proctor

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